This is not God’s justice.
This drive to prove who is the alpha male, as if the ability to take life is what constitutes being a man.
This drive to stand up and be heard in unyielding, explosive ways.
This drive to subdue and dominate people based on the color of their skin, or their gender, or their sexual orientation, or anything that makes them different from the one who wants to dominate.
This is not God’s justice.
This is even more than a deadly competition.
This is a disease.
And as I contemplate this disease, and how deep it runs in the human race, I wonder how there can be any kind of healing. Really. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been battling severe depression over the lives that have been lost and the escalating tensions because all I can see is one race – humanity – that has turned on and seems bound to destroy itself. No one is safe.
What can undo this? What can undo this desire to subdue and dominate, this desire to be first at any cost, this desire to hold the power of life and death, this desire to wield fear?
As a Christian, I believe only Jesus can undo it. Scratch that. I believe Jesus has undone it, and He’s just waiting on humanity to realize it. To realize Jesus is the way to a relationship with God, and a relationship with God is the way to peace – peace with Him, peace with ourselves, peace with each other. To realize that this disease is so much bigger than we can heal on our own and anything – anything we do outside of Jesus is at best slapping a Band-Aid on our skin for something that runs in our veins. To realize that God’s justice isn’t about providing a temporary solution to a permanent problem, but to do away with the problem altogether – to really make it right – and that He has chosen to do that through Jesus, and He has chosen to do that in us. To realize that God’s justice is about bringing us all together in Him, because as Paul says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28 NIV, emphasis mine).
“His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Ephesians 2:15b-18 NIV).
In Christ, we have the power to reject the spirit of subjugation. In Christ, we have the power to deny ourselves, bear burdens, and follow Jesus’ example of humility, compassion, and sacrifice. In Christ, we have the power to infuse everything with we touch with life, with love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control. When we are in Him, He is in us.
This is God’s justice.
And what better place to be found on a Monday morning in such a sorrowful world, a world whose need for healing has never been more evident? In Him.
And what better hope to be had on a Monday morning in such a sorrowful world, a world whose hope for healing has never been less evident? Him, in me.
“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21 NIV).
“You are from God, dear children, and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NIV).